Chicago Cubs

Brian Duensing, Chicago Cubs finalize $7 million, 2-year contract

Cubs relief pitcher Brian Duensing throws during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 18, 2017, in Chicago. The Cubs finalized a $7 million, two-year contract with Duensing on Monday. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
Cubs relief pitcher Brian Duensing throws during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 18, 2017, in Chicago. The Cubs finalized a $7 million, two-year contract with Duensing on Monday. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

CHICAGO – Left-hander Brian Duensing and the Cubs have finalized a $7 million, two-year contract for the reliever to remain with the team.

Duensing gets $3.5 million in each of the next two seasons as part of the agreement announced Monday. His 2019 salary can escalate by up to $1.25 million based on pitching appearances this year: $250,000 for 50, $333,333 each for 55 and 60, and $333,334 for 65.

Duensing went 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 68 appearances last season. He had agreed to the deal last week, pending a successful physical.

Duensing helped the Cubs win the National League Central last season, but their bullpen faltered in the playoffs and the Cubs were eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.

All-Star closer Wade Davis left as a free agent and agreed to a $52 million, three-year contract with Colorado, but the Cubs signed relievers Brandon Morrow and Steve Cishek before coming to an agreement with Duensing.

Duensing, who turns 35 next month, was selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 2005 amateur draft. He broke into the majors with the Twins in 2009 and is 43-38 with a 4.01 ERA in nine seasons.

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